White Night Melbourne

“Purple is the colour of the small hours, those moments of transition…Between dreary and sublime. Like rainbows, white nights draw on the purple at their borders.” Guillaume Désanges

Last year, I attended the inaugural White Night Melbourne and enjoyed it so much that I was super-keen to go again this year. The event, which is an all-night festival of light, art and performances, attracted 300,000 last year (at a time when it was relatively unknown). This year, from early reports, 500,000 people flocked into the city, and it was again a wonderful event.

There were musical performances in Federation Square and the Bourke Street mall, and a concert stage in La Trobe Street. There was synchronised swimming at the Melbourne City Baths and still-life drawing in the National Gallery of Victoria. Also, the short stories from the film version of Tim Winton’s The Turning were being shown at various locations around the city.

This was particularly exciting for me because my cousin is one of the Directors involved with The Turning. It has been wonderful to see this film receive critical acclaim in the last six months and for it to have another chance to shine at this event. Unfortunately, my cousin’s chapter was one of those in a ‘mystery location’ and I couldn’t find it. It’s just as well I’ve already seen it 🙂

Here are some of the highlights from my long White Night.

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Vancouver: Steveston

“Now where exactly would we be going on this magical, mystery tour?” Emma, Once Upon a Time

Last year, I had a couple of young Canadian brothers boarding at my place for about five months, while they were on a working holiday in Australia. It came about because their mum used to work with my brother in Vancouver … and also because that’s just one of the things that happen when you travel. I don’t know how many times I’ve been shown incredible hospitality by complete strangers when I’ve been backpacking – usually penniless – so it was really nice for me to have the opportunity to be on the other side of one those exchanges.

Jamie arrived first and initially stayed with my older sister. She basically adopted him as her fifth (and youngest) child, so by default I became his auntie. Then, after Jamie tagged along with me on a hiking weekend in Tasmania, we chatted about him house-sitting for me while I was travelling to Vancouver and the US later in the year.

So that’s how it all came about, except that by the time we did anything about it, Jamie’s brother Nathan had also arrived for an extended vacation. My trip overseas was only five weeks, but the boys stayed on after I returned. They headed home to Canada at the end of the year.

So, what has any of this got to do with Steveston? I’m slowly getting there …

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Vancouver: Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge and Lynn Canyon

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau

This week I’m continuing my tour of some of my favourite places in Vancouver, but I’m heading away from downtown and across the Lions Gate Bridge to West and North Vancouver. Here you’ll find some great recreation areas including Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Lynn Canyon Park. 

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Vancouver – False Creek, Granville Island and Gastown

“If I can bicycle, I bicycle.” David Attenborough

Vancouver is a great city for cycling, particularly in the downtown area where there are separated bike lanes on some of the roads and a couple of awesome bike paths. Last week, I wrote about cycling the Seawall in Stanley Park, which is a great family ride and easy for all levels of cyclist. This week, I’m continuing the ride to English Bay, False Creek, Granville Island, Gastown, Canada Place and Coal Harbour. My ride was about 30 km (including the Stanley Park loop). It could’ve been longer, but I did a couple of ferry trips on False Creek, just for the fun of it.

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